Nigeria: Climate Progress Indicators

16% increase in fossil fuel use between 2015 and 2020; lack of recent data.


According to the 2022 Environmental Performance Index (EPI), Nigeria falls in the 168th position out of a total number of 180 countries in terms of environmental sustainability. With its adoption of the Climate Change Act on 18th November 2021, Nigeria is reinforcing its commitment to the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by establishing more frameworks for achieving this reduction. Quick implementation of the Act is important if its aim of achieving low GHG emissions is to be fulfilled. The following indicators highlighted here may be used to measure and monitor Nigeria’s progress on emissions reduction so far:

Total CO2 emissions

According to the IEA, the value of Nigeria’s CO2 emissions in 2019 was 92.02 million tons. There is no further data from the IEA measuring Nigeria’s progress on CO2 emissions since 2019. However, Our Word in Data shows that Nigeria’s CO2 emissions was 130.10 million tons in 2019 and 125.46 million tons in 2020 from fossil fuel combustion for energy, and cement production only.


Fossil fuel production and use

Fossil fuels are major contributors to the release of CO2 into the atmosphere. Climate Transparency states that as of 2019, fossil fuels contributed 25% of the energy mix in Nigeria. Carbon Brief also reported that the generation and use of fossil fuels resulted in a 16% increase between 2015 – 2020. These are the latest figures on Nigeria’s fossil fuel use from both organizations.


Biofuel consumption

According to the IEA, the total amount of biofuels and waste consumed in Nigeria in 2019 was 4,928,822 TJ. There has been no further update from the IEA since 2019. However, tracing the amount of consumption two years before 2019 shows that the total amount of biofuels and waste consumed in 2017 and 2018 was 4,781,989 TJ and 4,863,458 TJ respectively. This also shows a yearly increase in consumption over the span of these three years. In addition to this, Climate Transparency reports that as of 2019, traditional biomass constituted 65% of the total energy mix in Nigeria. Traditional biomass use should be reduced because of the environmental degradation that it causes.


Deforestation rate

CO2 can be released through human activities that cause deforestation. It is important to monitor deforestation in Nigeria with the aim of knowing the rate of CO2 emissions it causes. Global Forest Watch reported that in 2021, Nigeria lost a total of 96.5 Kilo-hectares of natural forest accounting for 58.5 metric tons of CO2 emissions. This is a mild improvement on the 99.2 Kilo-hectares lost in 2020 which constituted CO2 emissions of 59.5 metric tons. Cumulatively, Nigeria has lost 1.14 Mega-hectares of tree cover over a 21-year period from 2001 to 2021 totaling 587Mt of CO2 emissions. While it is in the country’s interest that all states reduce deforestation, it is necessary to pay special attention to Edo, Ondo, Cross River, and Taraba states which have collectively contributed 54% of the total tree cover loss in Nigeria from 2001 to 2021.


Performance Indicator Baseline Value Date Update
CO2Emissions 130.10 Mt 2019 125.46 Mt (2020)
Fossil fuel use 25% 2019 No further update
Biofuel Consumption 4,781,989 TJ 2017 4,863,458 TJ (2018)
Deforestation Rate 99.2 Kilo-hectares 2020 96.5 Kilo-hectares (2021)


This post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Nigeria Country Manager Toyin Oladapo


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